Arlo Pro 2 vs. Arlo: Comparison Review

The Arlo Pro 2 cranks things up a notch, but the OG model is still worth a look.
Arlo Pro 2
1080p HD video
Lag time
Arlo
More affordable
No 3-second Look Back

Chances are if you’ve shopped around for a security camera in the last few years, you’ve come across Arlo. Arlo has made a name for itself with its innovative, 100% wireless security camera systems and its variety of individual security camera options.

Arlo Pro 2Arlo
Starter pack price$479.99$629.99
Resolution1080p720p
Number of cameras25
Field of view130°110°
Operating temp.-4° to 113° F (-20° C to 45° C)14° to 122° F (-10° C to 50° C)
View productView on AmazonView on Amazon

Data effective 10/16/2019. Offers subject to change.

Since the original Arlo was introduced, Netgear has made a few upgrades to its acclaimed camera system with both Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, and even Arlo Pro 3. We’re pitting the third version (Arlo Pro 2) against the OG wire-free Arlo camera to see how they compare and whether the Pro 2 is worth the upgrade.

The answer is both yes and no. It really depends on what you need out of a camera system and how much you’re willing to spend to get it. Here’s our breakdown of what the Arlo Pro 2 and original Arlo bring to the table and which we’d choose for particular use cases.

Key differences between Arlo Pro 2 and Arlo

Arlo vs. Arlo Pro 2
Arlo Pro 2Arlo
View on AmazonView on Amazon
  • Price: The original Arlo starter kit price is cheaper, but the Arlo Pro 2 has better features.
  • Video resolution: There’s no question that the Arlo Pro 2 delivers higher-quality video (1080p vs. the Arlo’s 720p), which is better for catching bad guys.
  • Camera quantity: Because the original Arlo camera is cheaper than the Arlo Pro 2, you can get more cameras for your money.
  • Field of view: Arlo Pro 2 covers more ground with a larger field of view. (130º versus the Arlo’s 110º.)
  • Operating temperature: The original Arlo handles heat better than the Arlo Pro 2, but the Pro 2 can conquer colder climates as low as -4° F.
  • Advanced features: Arlo Pro 2 has so many more cool features than the Arlo that it’s not even close. But some advanced features require you to sacrifice others.

As you can see, there’s a bit of back-and-forth on which Arlo system delivers the goods for different circumstances.

Price

The original Arlo camera is cheaper than the Pro 2, so you get more cameras for less. 

Arlo has quite a few pricing breakdowns you’ll need to be aware of before you can really gauge how much it’s going to cost you. To start with, you need a single camera and a hub. From there, you can get packs with as many as six cameras.

Arlo camera kits and camera pricing
Arlo Pro 2Arlo
Starter kit price (includes base station)$479.99$629.99
Cameras included25
Additional camera price$219.99$159.99
DetailsView on AmazonView on Amazon

Data effective 10/16/2019. Offers subject to change.

The Arlo Pro 2 starter kit looks like a lower startup cost until you realize it comes with just two cameras. Because the original Arlo camera is older, it’s hard to find a starter kit for it. Which means it’s only the best option if you’re planning on going with a multi-camera system.

Info Box icon
FYI
The Arlo Pro 2 base station has a USB drive that you can use for local storage backup.
Arlo Smart plans
PlanPriceStorage lengthNumber of camerasDetails
Arlo Smart$2.99/mo.30 daysPriced per cameraView on Amazon
Arlo Smart Premier$9.99/mo.30 daysUp to 10View on Amazon
Arlo Smart Elite$14.99/mo.60 daysUp to 20View on Amazon

Data effective 10/16/2019. Offers subject to change.

The second cost to consider with an Arlo camera is additional cloud storage through Arlo’s Arlo Smart plans. Arlo Smart makes your cameras, well, smarter. You get access to features like person detection and motion zones as well as “rich notifications” through the mobile app. That basically means you can see photos and media directly on your phone’s lockscreen without having to enter the Arlo app.

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Arlo Smart Tip
To get the 911 calling features, you must subscribe to Arlo Smart Premier or Arlo Smart Elite.

You don’t have to subscribe to an Arlo Smart plan. Arlo gives you seven days of free cloud storage even without one, which is pretty generous compared to other camera makers. But without Arlo Smart, you do miss out on some good perks, including the ability to call your local 911 operators directly from your smartphone, whether you’re in your home area or not.

Arlo CVR pricing
Number of daysPrice per cameraDetails
14 days$9.99/mo. per cameraView on Amazon
30 days$19.99/mo. per cameraView on Amazon

Data effective 10/16/2019. Offers subject to change.

The final (optional) expense is Arlo’s à-la-carte Continuous Video Recording (CVR) options. The main difference between this service and the previous cloud subscription is that CVR will record footage to the cloud 24/7, whereas the other service records only footage triggered by motion or sound.

Instead of a series of video clips throughout the day, CVR records a continuous stream of footage. Sounds cool, right? Well, it is. But keep in mind that the CVR option charges per camera, so it can get pricey really quickly.

Video resolution

There’s no question that the Arlo Pro 2 delivers higher-quality video (1080p), which is better for catching bad guys.

1080p > 720p. It’s really that simple. The Arlo Pro 2 was the first Arlo camera to offer the higher HD resolution, which you could argue is the biggest reason to upgrade from a previous version (or spend the extra money to begin with).

Higher-resolution video means you’ll get more detailed images, so you can capture things like license plate numbers or facial features a lot more easily than you can with a lower resolution.

Higher-resolution video means you’ll get more detailed images, so you can capture things like license plate numbers or facial features a lot more easily than you can with a lower resolution. Basically, it makes it easier to identify the bad guy, which is kind of the point anyway.

Although the original Arlo doesn’t have the same level of video footage, that doesn’t mean it’s not a great option. Video footage is still useful no matter how clear it is, and it helps that 720p video doesn’t take up as much storage space as 1080p. If you want to save on storage costs, you could opt for the lower-resolution video and save more footage with minimal storage space.

Number of cameras

You can get an original Arlo camera kit with five cameras, so you can get more video coverage without overstretching your budget.

Quality over quantity isn’t always the way to go. It really depends on what you value more. Since security cameras have been proven to deter burglars,1 the more cameras you have around your property, the better you can protect it. If you have a large property and coverage is your primary concern, you might be better off with the original Arlo system—especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget.

The Arlo Pro 2 is by far the better camera in terms of specs and features, but it’s going to cost a whole lot more to fill out a full system with Arlo Pro 2s than with the original Arlo.

You can get a camera kit with five of the original Arlo cameras. To get the same number of cameras with Arlo Pro 2, it’s going to cost a lot more. You’ll have to decide if the advanced features are worth a Scrooge McDuck pile of money.

Field of view

Arlo Pro 2 covers more ground with a larger field of view (20° more than Arlo).

Along with higher resolution, the Arlo Pro 2 has a wider field of view than the original Arlo. Twenty degrees might not sound like a big deal, but have you ever watched an old movie on a widescreen TV where you get those two black bars on the side because the aspect ratio is different? That’s kind of how it feels with the Arlo’s 110° vs. the Arlo Pro 2’s 130°. You’ll cover more surface area with the wider FOV that Arlo Pro 2 provides.

Operating temperature

The original Arlo handles heat better than the Arlo Pro 2, but the Pro 2 can conquer climates as cold as -4° F.

The original Arlo might be your best option if you live in an area with extreme heat, since it can handle temperatures up to 122° F. Depending on where you install your camera, though, the temperature outside might not reflect the temperature of your camera.

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Pro tip
The opposite is true, as well. If you install your camera in a tree (because you totally can—no wires!), your camera could stay cooler than the temperature outside.

Direct sunlight or close proximity to hot surfaces that radiate heat (think shingles or dark-colored garage doors) can potentially make your camera hotter. So if you live in an area where temperatures consistently reach triple digits, you might want to stick with the original Arlo.

For colder climates, it’s a different story. Unlike the original version, the Arlo Pro 2 can withstand sub-zero temperatures as low as -4° F, so if you live in Winterfell somewhere with freezing winters, you’re better off upgrading to the Arlo Pro 2, even if it might cost a little more.

Keep in mind that cold temperatures can affect battery life. Keep an eye on your battery levels if you live in a cold climate—they might drain faster than anticipated.

Advanced features

Arlo Pro 2 has many more cool features than the Arlo. But some advanced features require you to sacrifice others.

It’s not really a contest when it comes to advanced features. The Arlo Pro 2, hands down, has more features than the Arlo. Here’s a side-by-side comparison so you can see what we’re talking about.

Arlo Pro 2

  • 100% wireless (Wi-Fi + battery powered)
  • Weatherproof
  • Night vision
  • Sound and advanced motion detection
  • Free cloud storage
  • Activity zones
  • 3-second Look Back
  • 2-way audio
  • Smart security siren
  • Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Stringify integrations

Arlo

  • 100% wireless (Wi-Fi + battery powered)
  • Weatherproof
  • Night vision
  • Motion alerts
  • Free cloud storage
  • Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and Stringify integrations.

We’ll give you a quick rundown of some of the more notable advanced features the Arlo Pro 2 brings to the table:

  • Activity zones: Allow you to select specific areas of focus within a camera’s view and customize alerts when activity is detected in that area.
  • 3-second Look Back: Gives you the ability to rewind footage three seconds before a trigger event occurred.
  • Smart security siren: 100+ decibel siren that sounds when triggered by motion, sound, or remote access via the Arlo smartphone app.
  • Alexa, Google Assistant, Stringify, and IFTTT integrations: Allows you to view live footage via Echo Show or connect Phillips Hue lights to motion detection feature.
Megaphone icon
Heads up
Some advanced features are available only when the Arlo Pro 2 is plugged into an indoor outlet. This means they won’t work with the battery-powered options. (Activity zones, 24/7 CVR, 3-second Look Back.)

The original Arlo may not have all the bells and whistles, but neither does the Arlo Pro 2 unless it’s plugged in and used indoors. If you’re not too worried about shiny features, the original Arlo will get the job done without making you choose between features and flexibility.

The bottom line

You should get Arlo Pro 2 if…

  • You want higher-quality video footage
  • You’re into advanced features
  • You’re not worried about budget
  • You live in a cold climate

The Arlo Pro 2 is clearly the better overall camera. It’s an impressive improvement on the original Arlo in almost every way. It handles colder weather. It has better video quality and a wider FOV. And it packs in a bunch of useful, advanced features. The Arlo Pro 2 is a fantastic, if somewhat pricey, security camera system with a lot of flexibility and room to grow.

For more details on the Arlo Pro 2, check out our full review.

You should get Arlo if…

  • You want more cameras for less money (particularly large properties)
  • You live in a climate with extreme heat

Although the original Arlo gives up a lot of ground to the new and improved Arlo Pro 2, it’s still worth the look if you want a quality security camera system that gives you maximum coverage for a good price. You can get five original Arlo cameras for much less than five Arlo Pro 2’s. Sure, you’ll sacrifice advanced features and video quality, but the sheer volume of cameras for the price is hard to ignore.

Still not sure?

Take a look at our picks for the best indoor, outdoor, and motion detection cameras,

Let us know about your experience with Arlo or Arlo Pro 2 security camera systems in the comments below.